Monday 29 February 2016

Andrew Whiting - Beech's Fine Chocolates, Preston

This months foodie is Andrew Whiting - Chairman of Beechs Fine Chocolates, Preston. A wonderful local chocolate company who's chocolates are absolutely delicious, they even have a range of chocolates suitable for vegans. Their fine chocolates can be found online or via many fine retailers. Onto our questions, you know the drill......

Recently featured on BBC Televisions "Who's the Boss !" the company has been making chocolate since 1920.

What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ?
I learned to cook for myself at university and then found I could “mimic” most things I had eaten elsewhere. I enjoy cooking but would love to know how to make amazing ring doughnuts and French macaroons.  My favourite food writer is Nigella Lawson.

What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Lancashire food is delicious and I’d say “Oooh aaar, that were greeeat!”

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be?
Since I was a boy I have always wanted to be a pirate. However, these days I think I would be happy travelling around the world on a long holiday, but I admit that still sounds a bit like being a pirate.

Which piece of kit could you not do without?
I think my iPad would be very difficult to do without. I use it for everything and I write notes on all sorts of things while on the move. Recipes, meeting notes, research, novels and reminders.  The to do list is the most used item on the device.

Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
My guests would be my entire family and Jimi Hendrix, (if we are allowed a non – living guest from the past). My wife and children are all wonderful and there are a number of questions I would still like to ask Jimi.   

What advice would you give to your younger self ?
The advice I still give is “if you can imagine yourself doing something that you have never tried before, you can treat it as experience”

Describe your style in three words
Positive and fair

What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
Well I recently bought two smoothie drink makers which I know are a current trend.  They were Christmas presents for two of my children but if I had a smoothie maker I would make lots of different and delicious home made soup.

What is your greatest achievement to date ?
The greatest achievement was turning Beech’s Chocolates from a loss making company to a profitable company after the initial purchase. This took much effort and teamwork with the workforce. The food industry is a roller coaster.

What is the worst mistake you have made ?
Apparently this was when I once put a navy blue shirt on with black trousers

Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect !
Something I tend to keep secret is that I have never let the last drop of wine empty into my glass since 1978. This is a superstition from when I lived in France at that time. It’s supposed to be bad luck but apart from this, I believe that “you make your own luck.”

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